Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7
Large shares: chard, new potatoes, salad cucumbers, purplette onion, cilantro, purple bell pepper, snow peas, red tomato, eggplant, garlic, oak leaf lettuce
Small shares: chard, carrots, new potatoes, purplette onions, Italian parsley, ½ pint sungold cherry tomatoes, garlic, shishito peppers
Bread and beauty grow best together. Their harmonious integration can make farming not only a business but an art; the land not only a food-factory but an instrument for self-expression, on which each can play music to his own choosing.
Dear CSA members,
The week has seemingly flown by as I find myself sitting down to write this weeks’ newsletter! We have certainly enjoyed some cooler temperatures, and crystal clear blue skies this week. The way the grasses and landscape have dried out in the drought I keep thinking this is September… The seasonal fast forward has been a perpetual problem for me this whole season with the unusual weather patterns.
A lot of fall planting got done this last week. We have been transplanting thousands of brassica starts such as cabbage, kale and kohlrabi, as well as seeding the final successions of carrots, beets, turnips and other root crops. I have also seeded a lot of raddichio and endive in the greenhouse, and will continue to seed successions of lettuce for a while yet. It has been nice to bust out all this work in the more reasonable temperatures we have been experiencing.
If you are interested in continuing your CSA share to enjoy these abundant fall harvests we have a fall CSA option available for sign up if you haven’t already done so. The fall share will begin Tuesday October 20th and last for four weeks. The large share is #115 and the small $80. The fall share is great because most of the produce is hardy and will keep for some time so you can enjoy it for several weeks after the deliveries end. Think root crops, leeks, hardy greens, and winter squash.
In the years when we first began farming, our season was essentially over by late October. We didn’t have the land, nor did we plant crops that would last us through the winter months. These days, we are farming and going to market year round, barring a flood or a long stretch of super cold (single digit temperatures) weather! It is kind of awesome to be out in the field harvesting carrots in the dead of winter with just a few folks, often with supplemental light from tractor mounted LED’s and a lot of slippery mud! But it is just so great to be able to produce crops year round.
Meanwhile, the summer harvests are coming on strong as the weather looks like it is going to heat up again this week. The tomato, pepper and eggplant crops are starting to fill up the back room of the cooler. As well as seemingly endless mountains of summer squash and cucumbers! Large shares will get their first tastes of cilantro this week. Normally, we would have plenty of cilantro in the early season, but we had a mix up with old, poorly germinating seed this year so the early plantings were a failure. We also have eggplant, red tomato and bell pepper for the first time.
Small shares will get Sungold cherry tomato and Shihito peppers as new items this week. Shisito peppers are a Japanese frying pepper that is iconic to izakaya (Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food). They are mild, and prized because they are thin, delicate and thin-skinned and thus blister and char easily in the pan. Occasionally one of the peppers may be spicy instead of mild, but there is no way to tell until you taste it. For many, this is part of the enjoyment, but you may want to taste carefully before you dig in. Usually, a small hole is poked to keep the pepper from bursting and then pan fried whole in oil until wilted and slightly charred. Shisitos are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. I just had some for lunch and they were delicious!
That’s all for this week, enjoy!
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Blistered Shishito peppers: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.
Eggplant Caponata: peel and cut into cubes 1 medium (1 lb) eggplant. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a colander, and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about four minutes. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook, stirring often until onion is soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl; add to the skillet 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the celery mixture, along with 1 ½ cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, 12 green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, 1 ½ tsp drained capers, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with additional salt, pepper, and or vinegar if needed. Remove to a serving bowl, let cool and garnish with 2 tbsp minced parsley.
Cucumber Salad with caramelized onions and herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.
Moroccan Carrot Dressing: In a blender, process 2 cups carrots, chopped, 2 tomatoes, 1/3 cup flax oil, 1 peeled orange, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp black pepper until smooth and creamy
Tabbouleh: Cook 4 cups coarse bulgur or quinoa, and cool slightly. Combine bulgur or quinoa, 1 large grated carrot, 2 cups tightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and 2 tbsp dried currants. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 large clove roasted garlic, 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced, 1 tbsp lemon zest, and ½ tsp sea salt. Shake well to blend. Pour the dressing over the bulgur mixture and toss to thoroughly coat the grains. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, mint or salt as needed.
Swiss chard with lentils and feta cheese: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 2 purplette onions chopped. Sauté until tender. Add in 1 cup brown or green lentils and stir. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 min. meanwhile, wash 1 bunch of chard and trim off the stem ends. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces, and the leaves into bite sized pieces. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the chard stems and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, about 5 min. add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 min. stir in 4 tsp red wine vinegar and the reserved lentil mixture. Sprinkle with about ½ cup feta and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.